Thursday, May 14, 2009

You can't spell Victim Impact Panel without Victim Impact

Today started out like most days for the typical blue collar working folk: up by eight, work by nine. I on the other hand, have not been up at eight for... well let's just say I don't recall the last time I was awake at 8AM and sober. But I had to work today at nine, or at least thought I did.

Apparently it's tomorrow that I work at nine. So, I did what any other self-respecting, underemployed, broke as a joke person would do - stood in line for food stamps. There is something refreshing about saying that out loud (via blog). It's probably just the middle-class, suburban roots, but when I even think food stamps, I picture Cabrini Green: single mother, five kids in a two bedroom apartment, trading diapers for crack (somebody's getting the raw end of that deal). I am aware that is extremely ignorant, but blame my stupid background!

Anyhow, when you approach the check-in counter at the Department of Human Services (after being politely scolded by the security guard (yes, they have a security guard), and are asked to repeat yourself, you feel a sense of shame stating "I'm looking to apply for food stamps," twice.

So, there it is; in black and white for the world to see. I applied for food stamps today. And you know what? I hold no shame! You know why? Because since the day my father lost his six figure income, my family and I have been nothing but screwed over by this wretched government of ours, and I am more than willing to take any penny they are willing to hand out to me. As a matter of fact, I have made it my goal to enroll in school this fall, finish my Associate's degree, obtain my Bachelors, and possibly even attend Grad school... all on the government's dime. The system is flawed and I will find the loopholes, jump through the hoops, lie, cheat and steal (okay, maybe not steal or kill - wait, did I even say kill?) to get Uncle Sam to bow down to me for once! I want revenge!!! (And a fancy piece of paper that declares my smartness.)

Speaking of evil empires and corrupt systems (namely judicial)...

So, after trying to coerce the government into buying me lunch meat and milk, I went back home for a short nap and to grab my things, then hit the road. My destination: Cook County District Courthouse #3, Rolling Meadows, Illinois. I had a 3PM meeting with my Court Operator* Iris Martinez. (*It's what her card says, but in regular talk, a probation officer for misdemeanors, and also a very nice lady.) I left Champaign with three and a half hours to arrive on time. Things were going very smoothly until I reached the 'burbs. They must have known I was coming: traffic jam on I-80. Thankfully, my friend Ben sent me an alternate route and I was on my way.

I arrived at the courthouse a few minutes late, but I called Ms. Martinez, and she was cool with my tardiness. (I know what you're thinking, a cool, non-postal worker, government employee!? But they do exist.) Things went smoothly, until she tried to seduce me, but I straightened her out, and was on my way to my Ma's house in B-town for a home cooked meal. My favorite too, Salmon!

Ate dinner, chatted it up a bit Mom, and headed back to good ol' Rolling Meadows for my Victim Impact Panel thingy (another requirement of my DUI).**

So, I'm driving along 290 West, headed towards the Kirchoff exit and I notice that traffic is getting backed up. In an effort to not be late to another court-ordered bull shit mess, I decide to take the Kirchoff exit, as opposed to the Euclid, which I otherwise have always taken. (If you're not from the suburbs or city, you're probably getting lost here - stick with it.)

Suddenly I realize that my seatbelt is not on. Nothing new, I have been really bad about seatbelt use of late. However, I decide to buckle up, thinking in the back of my mind shit, what if I get in an accident without it on? Sure enough, I'm headed down Euclid, approaching the light at Rhowling....

Light turns yellow...

I panic (thanks a lot photo-enforced camera red light ticket thingys!)...

I brake
I look in the rearview
I see a big SUV coming at me...
Let off the brake, attempt to speed up-


My small little VW Golf just got sent at least 50 yards, across the intersection, passed oncoming traffic, in rush our traffic...

I'm bouncing back and forth, without enough time to even panic, when suddenly the car comes to a halt, I fly forward, backward, and repeat, finally slowing my small, thin frame enough to see my sunroof collide with my windshield and glass fly everywhere.

I see smoke, or what I think is smoke coming from the back of the car. I try to exit - no luck. I reach for the passenger door and escape, dazed and confused, in the middle of traffic.

My first instinct is to see if the guy in the SUV is okay. He's on the phone in his undamaged Chevy Trailblazer.

The next few minutes are a blur, bit finally the cops showed up and ticketed the dude, had my car towed, as I walked across the street and waited for a ride.

I missed my victim impact panel. But I'm okay.

Lesson learned: Don't drink and drive. If I had never gotten the initial DUI, I would not be in this situation.

Thanks, Karma.

**For more information on my DUI, please see past entries.


splinky said...

oh are ok, right? so did u get a rental through your insurance? are u back down south?

i bet cook county makes u show pics of ur vehicle to get out of the impact class..stupid system!

Avita said...

omg ryan. omg omg omg. if things couldn't get any worse.... holy crap. were you injured in your accident?

Ryan the Broham said...

Some minor whiplash. Gonna go get that checked out by a doctor. Just got my rental today (and found out the car is totalled). Once I get the money for the car and pay it off I should have enough for a beater, if I don't get my Grandfather's car (old, but well maintained Pontiac). If I get that I'll probably invest in a scooter (I'm thinking Segway lol)